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Etre ou ne pas être, là est la question…

I am becoming more and more frustrated by one of my A-Level subjects and that is French, hence the title. I don’t actually know if the title is correct but nevermind, I can only try.

The Problem

It probably sounds silly but there isn’t really one specific problem, it is just the subject in general. I seem to be incompetent at picking things up when doing listening exercises, incompetent at reading and a bit better at speaking, but I can’t speak on the spot. What amazes me, though, is that I did ok at GCSE, and I wasn’t aiming for a low grade…

I know that A-Level is a lot more difficult that GCSE, I’m not doubting that, it is just that for me I think that the change is too much, despite me being ‘gifted and talented’…


I quite honestly do not know how I have managed to stick at the subject this long. One of the lessons in particular I seem to struggle in. I don’t quite know why but whenever I am asked anything or try and do any fo the work I fail miserably and just have a block whereby I can’t do it.

I actually think that my performance is getting worse due to me losing interest in the subject due to how low in confidence I am because of the struggle that I am having.

I have actually been advised to stick it out for this year and by February things apparently SHOULD have improved because we will have finished the AS Course by then and it will be revision and the like (I think) after then for our exams in June. Actually, the exams should be a laugh, I can’t wait to see how well I do in them…

What To Do Now?

I have come very close to dropping it, but I will stick it out until Christmas and see what I think after the Christmas holidays. It should give me enough time to think proeprly about it because I don’t want to jump into a decision with two feet. I am just not like that. I like to analyse and evaluate everything before making a decision to ensure that I make the right decision. After all, I don’t want to make the wrong decision at this point in my life, it’s too risky, hence why I need to think about it properly.

I will just be hoping that things get a bit better sooner rather than later as it could have a huge effect on my decision. In an ideal world I would drop the subject but I know I can’t just do that. Well technically I could but I wouldn’t want to straight away. Not before assessing all of my options anyway. As I said about four lines ago, I don’t want to scupper my chances of succeeding in life, that would be disastrous, but then again it would be disastrous for anyone to scupper their chances of succeeding in life…

Don’t get me wrong, though, I am a fighter and will keep at it for the time being. I am not one who gives up easily I can say that for sure!

Thanks to Zhu who kindly corrected my title for me! 😀

5 Responses to “Etre ou ne pas être, là est la question…”

  • Zhu says:

    It’s okay…

    You know, it takes time to “digest” languages. I wasn’t that good with English and Chinese (my two foreign languages) at school. It took time to pick up.

    Sometimes, it was very frustrating because I could understand how the language worked but it just didn’t stick to my mind.

    But one day, it just clicked and it was much easier.

    Let me know if I can help with the French, I’m a teacher, remember? 😉

  • Zhu says:

    Oh, et c’est juste:

    “Etre ou ne pas être, là est la question”.


  • Aidan says:

    Yeah I agree Zhu it does take time to digest languages – but it just gets so very frustrating as I am sure you can understand.

    My main issue is knowing when to use what tense. We go through it often enough but I keep forgetting when to use what tense and then I get mixed up with the endings of verbs etc. Once I get that sorted in my mind perhaps things will get a little easier. It is just quite concerning for me as I need to get to understand it soon as I have an exam in the summer.

    Yeah I will do, if I need any help, but I don’t want to be a burden to you..

    Thanks for the correction of the title 😉 !

  • Zhu says:

    Oh, you won’t be a burden, trust me! I relied on a bunch of people when I learned Chinese…

    Tenses and moods… Oh, I see what you mean! The difference between passé composé and imparfait, the – stupid – subjunctive etc.

    It gets easier with time. When I first learned English, we had so many grammar lessons about when to use X tense. Like as a French, I tend to say “I have seen” instead of “I saw” because it’s closer to passé composé. 😆

    But eventually, everything made sense. Somehow.

    Ultimately, what helped me most with my English was:

    – Reading books: I started with Bridget Jones diary (yeah, I know…) since I had read it in French before. Helped me with the slang, the common phrases etc.
    – Writing to my friends: I really wanted to be understood, so I tried extra-hard
    – Living in Canada: duh….!

    If you want classes on tense, let me know, all my course are on Word, so I can email you some. Trust me, it doesn’t bother me at all!

  • MeMyselfAndPi says:

    To be or not to be, that is the question…
    à tre ou pas à tre, que est la question….

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